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2009 Andrus Award Winner: Service with a Smile

AARP South Dakota congratulates the recipient of the 2009 Andrus Award for Outstanding Community service, Marrietta Catlin of Pierre, South Dakota.

“Marrietta’s leadership and spirit of volunteerism has a tremendous impact in her community and throughout South Dakota” said Leni Healy, AARP South Dakota associate state director for outreach and service. “Her commitment to service touches members of every generation.”

Healy added, “Three separate individuals living in three different communities across the state took the time to nominate Marrietta for the 2009 Andrus Award. All three nominations list outstanding contributions to her community and the state in very substantial ways.”

Catlin’s contributions are many. She serves the South Dakota Retired Teachers Association (SDRTA), the Honored Women Educators of South Dakota, PEO Sisterhood and assists with Senior Games. She leads the SDRTA’s Community/Health Services, writes health research columns for the state newsletter and keeps SDRTA members up to date on current health and service issues. She is first in line to welcome hundreds of AARP volunteers to the annual Lobby Day at the State Capitol and coordinate annual Days of Service for the state retired teachers’ units.

Catlin’s service is far reaching in her home community and beyond. She is a volunteer kindergarten tutor and “Reading Buddy” for first graders, helps with the weekend backpack food program for needy elementary students. Catlin also helps with student health screenings in the high school, provides entertainment for nursing homes and coordinates entertainment at the Pierre Senior Center. She graciously serves at the local food pantry and does food prep and clean up for the weekly potluck dinners at the local senior citizen’s center. Additionally, Catlin plays saxophone in the “Over Forte’ Big Band” which donates all proceeds to scholarships for local students. She frequently uses children’s literature with creative activities and research to remind seniors that working together we can make a big difference in our world.

Catlin shared with us her favorite quite from Sir James Barrie: "Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves." This is also Caitlin’s personal philosophy, which shines brightly in all she does.

About the Andrus Award

The Andrus Award for Community Service is given each year to one volunteer in each state, in honor of honor of AARP’s Founder, Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus. The AARP Andrus Award for Community Service, recognizes outstanding AARP volunteers and members who are making a powerful difference in their communities in ways that support AARP's mission, vision and strategic direction and that inspire others to volunteer.

For information on how to nominate an AARP volunteer for the Andrus Award, contact Leni Healy at

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